Security & The DIR: How Schools & Government Entities Can Save Big

Proudly partnering with DIR since 2007

The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) is a state agency that assists Texas state government, education and local government entities with their technology needs. As part of their mission, the DIR enables eligible organizations to purchase various products and services through pre-negotiated contracts. Those products and services include solutions for access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and fire detection.

Knight Security Systems has held a DIR contract since 2007 and we’ve helped hundreds of local and statewide organizations address their security needs in a streamlined, cost-effective way. However, we know that the DIR process can be a bit confusing, so we put together a quick overview to hopefully make things clearer and easier to understand.

Why Should You Buy Security Solutions through the DIR?

DIR connects clients with the lowest possible prices. If you pool together the purchasing of - state and local governmental agencies in Texas, that’s a lot of money floating around, and it represents sales that technology product and service providers want. The DIR uses that volume buying power as leverage to negotiate discounts. The DIR makes that pricing (and those contracts) available to government and education entities, on both the state and local levels.

If the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) changes, the DIR price automatically adjusts — so anytime there’s a price drop, you get a percentage off that lower price. You simply can’t get a better price anywhere else.

The DIR Process

Traditional security procurement processes can easily take six months or more, involving multiple teams — from purchasing to legal to IT and more — plus racking up hard costs for preparing an RFP/RFQ/RFO and other tasks.

What are the perks of purchasing through the DIR?

  • No need to vet prospective vendors.
  • No need to negotiate contracts.
  • Simply go to http://dir.texas.gov
  • Type what you’re looking for into the search bar. (For example, “video surveillance systems”)
  • Then filter the search results by “Content Type>All Contracts and Services”
  • If needed, you can filter again to narrow your choices by Vendor Type (E-Rate, HUB, etc.), Product Types, Brands, Commodity Code, Vendor Names, and Reseller Names.
  • The DIR database results are organized by vendor. You can select a vendor to review details about the specific DIR contract with that vendor, how to order, who to contact and more.

A one-stop shop for all your security needs

Companies under DIR contract must comply with rigorous requirements, as well as demonstrate their knowledge and ability to exceed service expectations. And all contracts have been competitively bid by the DIR. (TGC 2054.0565 states that DIR contracts meet the competitive requirements for all governmental entities.) It’s already done.

Clients can make the best choice for their unique security needs. For each product or service available through the DIR, there are typically multiple options, brands and vendors to choose from. You can review a summary of details on each contract to help you make the right choice. Some DIR-contracted vendors offer everything from video surveillance, access control, and intrusion detection to comprehensive service contracts — serving as a “one-stop shop” for all of your security needs, at the best possible prices.

How to purchase security solutions through the DIR

If you know exactly what you need, the process is simple. For more complex needs — such as a complete security solution — you may wish to conduct an abbreviated RFP/RFQ/RFO process. Here’s how that would work:

  • Outline your Scope of Work (SOW)
  • Go to http://dir.texas.gov
  • Type what you’re looking for into the search bar. (For example, “access control”)
  • Then filter the search results by “Content Type>All Contracts and Services”
  • Next, filter again to narrow your choices by Vendor Type (E-Rate, HUB, etc.) Product Types, Brands, Commodity Code, Vendor Names, Reseller Names.
  • Ultimately, you’ll end up with a list of a few vendors that are under DIR contract for all of your specific needs — and who meet any unique requirements for HUB status, etc.
  • Contact those vendors to request a proposal for how they would address your Scope of Work.
  • Evaluate responses and select the best match, knowing that the vendor is already fully vetted and under contract.

Over 30 years of serving our clients with honor & integrity

Knight Security Systems is proud to work with The Texas Department of Information Resources. For more than thirty years, we’ve been providing for the security needs of local, county and state government entities, as well as K-12 and higher education organizations — with honor, integrity and service.

If you’d like to learn more, please review our recent work with Eanes ISD or The City Of Conroe.